Tag Archives: Robert Dunn

Pringle and Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald Targeted Restaurant D’Vine

While it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody paying attention that the government, at all levels, only works for those who are well connected and make the correct donations. Usually proving this truism is often difficult but we came across an example here in Fullerton that seemed noteworthy.

It appears that Mayor Pro-Tem, and Curt Pringle & Associates VP, Jennifer Fitzgerald decided to weaponize our city government to go after the business “D/Vine” for “word on the street” indicating that they had a promoter in violation of the municipal code.

Fitzgerald DVine

That seems innocuous and even reasonable from a law and order and agency perspective. After all, what’s the problem with a council member & Mayor Pro-Tem being worried about a business running afoul of local law?

Nothing if the local laws were applied equally and in a just manner. But we know that to not be the case.

While Fitzgerald is super worried about public safety over who promotes what music at D’Vine she gleefully ignores other violators of our municipal code when it benefits her. As an example of such would be when she holds events and parties at The Slidebar.

FitzSlidebarParty

The Slidebar which for years has violated local amplified sound ordinances while operating without so much as a Condition Use Permit or even an Administrative Restaurant Use Permit (ARUP).

For those new to these issues – in this city you cannot operate a restaurant without an ARUP and you can’t sell alcohol and have live entertainment with a CUP and a Live Entertainment Permit. The following screenshot is from the City Staff’s own presentation to City Council on April 16th, 2019:

Title 15 Change - ARUP CUP

The Slidebar only has the Live Entertainment Permit despite not legally qualified to have one thanks to their just ignoring the law regarding the ARUP/CUP. Nearly every other business is required to have these permits and for 7 years Fitzgerald has said bupkss about it.

Fitzgerald, like so many others on the dais before and still, has no problem holding fundraisers and heaping praise on some businesses in clear violation of the most basic of rules required to run a bar in downtown but when the wrong promoter plans the wrong type of music – now there’s a need for a call to action. Rally the troops! Tally-Ho! The scourge of banda music must be stopped… because Banda music is… bad?

Let’s look at that. Banda music is what exactly? From Wikipedia:

Banda is a term to designate a style of Mexican music and the musical ensemble in which wind instruments, mostly of brass and percussion, are performed.”

This is something Fullertonians have complained about before it seems but I didn’t realize it was such a problem. I sort of expect to hear this music at places like Revolucion Cantina and in fact they have a “Banda Wednesday”. This negates the idea that the music itself is a problem.

The shooting is a cause for concern if you’re worried about what CAUSED the shooting… but if it isn’t the music causing people to be shot (because the shooting happened during a “Purge” themed Halloween party playing Hip-Hop) then Fitzgerald must blame the promoter?

Can a promoter rationally be blamed for the wrong people showing up to a show? Fullerton doens’t seem to blame the local bars for bringing in undesirables who urinate, vomit, fight and graffiti all over downtown. Hell, Fitzgerald herself recently blamed “Pre-Gaming” in the parking lots for much of the mayhem and DUIs around town.

Thus using Fitzgerald’s own local logic let us dispense with the idea that the promoter caused the shooting in Riverside. After all, it might have been “pre-gaming” in a parking structure that led to the shooting. To do otherwise would be an especially comical problem when we have a fire & life safety issue in downtown related to a business owner whose family is alleged to have burned one of their own previous businesses to the ground.

Because city staff works at the behest of the City Manager and the City Manager works at the whim of the City Council, when the council says “Jump!” or “Look Away!” that’s exactly what happens. No need to apply the law evenly or justly – just do what the bought and paid for council demands.

It’s sickening that the city can look into D’Vine for their banda/promoter problem while simultaneously Community Development Director Ted White was exchanging text messages with Joe Florentine and emails with Jeremy Popoff, local bar owners, in the build up to municipal code changes of how Florentine’s & Popoff’s businesses, and all bars, would be regulated despite their own flaunting of the laws.

Ted White - Jeremy Slidebar

While Ted White was looking into the ARUP/CUP status of D’Vine he was ignoring the very real problems regarding Florentine being, for over a decade, in violation of life safety requirements. To recap – Florentine has refused to follow his own Conditional Use Permit (CUP) requiring fire sprinklers and the city has refused to enforce that CUP up to and including the Chief of Police rubber stamping Florentine’s Live Entertainment Permits year in and year out despite those permits also requiring adherence to the CUP.

Florentines-LE-Permit-2016

“The C.U.P. (if applicable) shall be strictly enforced.”

It’s nice to have a clear cut example of the city picking and choosing winners and losers. This email from Fitzgerald about D’Vine shows us clearly that our city responds to issues immediately when the council says jump all the while turning a blind eye to worse problems from similar businesses in the same neighborhood. I guess it really does pay to own the right council members.

Chief Hamel and Wife

A Hamel Timeline and Conflict Problem

Chief Hamel and Wife

Was Kathryn Hamel’s Settlement Agreement, to bypass disclosure laws, the byproduct or possibly even the direct result of inter-departmental nepotism and favoritism?

The following email shows that the Internal Affairs investigation into Lieutenant Katheryn Hamel started on or around August 02, 2018.

This smells of a conflict considering the date of that fateful Lady Antebellum concert (August 24, 2018) in which Chief Hendricks, Hamel’s then-boss, allegedly committed battery against an EMT.

Hamel-IA-August2018

This means that Katheryn Hamel was actively being investigated by Fullerton PD’s Internal Affairs division while her husband, Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel, was overseeing the investigation of Katheryn Hamel’s supervisor Captain Oliveras and boss Chief Hendricks.

This information forces us to at least consider a conflict of interest between departments which was kept from the public both at the time and since. We knew of the Hamel connection between departments but not that Fullerton’s Hamel was under investigation at the direction of then-Chief Hendricks.

Instead of sending the Chief Hendricks battery case immediately to an outside agency, Irvine PD appears to have been allowed to complete their investigation.

Wait Wut

Will our own City Council publicly ask the new Chief of Police, Robert Dunn, who was in charge during this fiasco, why this was allowed to play out in such a suspicious way? Don’t count on it. After all, they hired Dunn as permanent Chief last night and tried to do it on the Consent Calendar with zero public input.

Paez

What Happened to School Resource Officer Jose Paez

Paez

Something untoward may have been happening at Fullerton High School and the entire community appears to have been once again kept in the dark.  Your children may have had their privacy invaded & may be the victims of somebody they were told to trust.

We’ve received what looks like part of a Body Worn Camera audit and it shows some very questionable information.

Paez BWC Audit

Highlights are as follows (emphasis added):

  • Father reporting his 13 year old daughter having inappropriate relationship with 16 yr old boy. Paez takes photos of text messages from father’s phone with an iPhone.

  • Returned to a home, asked teenage boy and girl if he could get their mother’s phone number. He wrote it on an envelope he was holding with name “***”.

  • Texting on freeway while driving to CHOC with a suicidal teenage girl in backseat.

  • With an iPhone he takes 13 photographs of text messages between 422 victim and suspect from victim’s phone using an iPhone. Unsure if his own or PDs.

  • While investigating Snapchat Hacking report, he takes picture with iPhone of victim girl’s phone screen that has text messages and what appears to the girl in the shower. Girl is 17 years old. At 8m 30s he asks the girl to take screenshots of the conversation (presumably the one he had just photographed) and send it to his work email so he can add it to the case. Why did he take photos with phone?

  • Talking with an 18 year old woman – about some sort of sex crime involving her ex-boyfriend . He tells her there was mention of a sex video. She said it was deleted. He asked to see her phone to confirm the video was not there. She tells him she has “inappropriate” pictures of herself on her camera roll. He takes her phone and scrolls through the pictures. He spends 4 minutes 20 seconds scrolling through her phone.

  • Talking to teenage boy about oral sex video on his phone. Stops recording before interview is over. Next video is 2 hours later with boy’s mother in the room.

  • Talking to girl who took videos and pictures of herself and her boyfriend having sex. Paez pulled the video from his own iPhone to show her. (Not sure if work phone)

  • Takes picture of a teenage boy he is interviewing at a school. Appears Paez adds a caption to the image and sends it to multiple recipients.

  • Takes photos of juveniles phone text messages. Unk if work phone or personal.

  • (17-68541) Paez investigating one juvi with another juvi’s nude pictures on phone. On this case he called CSI to take photos of the images he discovered on the phone.

  • Interviewed a female teacher wearing a skirt. Had his BWC on his belt. Of the 200+ videos I watched of his, this was the only time I’ve seen footage with BWC on belt. Had pretty clear view, under the table they were sitting at, of her knees to hips. Fortunately, nothing “candid” was captured on his BWC. I checked audit trail and discovered he watched the video only once about a month later. Interestingly, the video that preceeded this one was deleted. The deletion occurred because the category was changed, by Paez, from “Arrest” to “Radio Calls”, which changed the deletion schedule from August 29, 2019 to March 04, 2018. Attached is the audit trail for the deleted video.

Make of all of that what you will but quite a bit of it seems like questionable behavior at best.

It is interesting that Officer Paez was able to delete files from the system by changing categories. It would be enlightening to know how often this happens at FPD. That there seems to have been no oversight on this process up this point is problematic to say the least.

Fullerton Officer Jose Paez may or may not be with the Fullerton Police Department anymore, we’ve seen no confirmation either way, but we do know that he was a School Resource Officer (SRO) at Fullerton High School.

This is confirmed though an March 2, 2017 article in the Fullerton Union High School Tribe Tribune.

Paez Tribe Article

We also know that this status as an SRO is no longer current based on FPD’s website about the School Resource Officer program.

FPD SROs 2019

I understand the premise of innocent until proven guilty, but unfortunately, Fullerton PD does not — as they parade names and faces on social media to brag about their arrests while they themselves hide behind the Police Officers Bill of Rights and other such laws. I’d love to give officers the benefit of the doubt but they, through their unions, fight tooth and nail to stop disclosure of criminal acts amongst their brothers and sisters in blue, and enough is enough.

It’s possible that Officer Paez did nothing wrong and I’ll leave that up to the readers to demand answers from City Hall, Fullerton High School and FPD. It seems inappropriate at best to be using a Body Worn Camera to potentially video record under a teacher’s skirt, under a table, or taking screenshots and photos of underage nudity on a phone that might not even be department-issued.

It should be remembered that just a few days ago I showed Christopher Wren was terminated, partially, for having a nude photo of himself on a department-issued phone. Now square that with the above. I’ll share more as I know it and hopefully somebody can demand and get answers as to what is going on over at FPD and City Hall.

No Public Input on the Police Chief

Well folks, Fullerton is at it again. On Tuesday, without any public input, the City Council is slated to appoint Interim Police Chief Robert Dunn as the “Permanent” Chief for the Fullerton Police Department.

I put “Permanent” in quotes because Chiefs tend to leave in disgrace often around these parts.

The position of Police Chief wasn’t put out for applicants despite 5 people applying the last time around. Nope, this time not only is the city not looking to recruit from outside of the city, or even open it up to other in-city employees – they’re shoving it onto the consent calendar.

Dunn - Consent Calender Hire

For the uninitiated I’ll quote a previous post on this very blog about such items.

A typical definition of a consent calendar would be as follows:

Under parliamentary rules governing City Council meetings, Consent Calendar items are reserved for items that are deemed to be non-controversial. They allow a City Council to save the bulk of it’s meeting time for issues in which there is a need for a serious public debate.

So that means that Fullerton’s council thinks that hiring somebody for the position of the Chief of Police for between 5-11 years is non-controversial and not worth discussing.

They don’t even want to have a token discussion on this issue. Not only do we never get oversight, we don’t even get The Performance wall of local government.

Based on some recent stories we’ve seen we might beg to differ about this being something that should be vetted in public. But alas, we at FFFF actually care about transparency and integrity from our government officials which are things this council is adamantly against.

While this doesn’t come as a surprise, it’s actually worse than the last time we hired a new “permanent” Chief. That time city staff actually wrote the questions for council to ask in closed session.

Let us not kid ourselves, even if this was a public hearing our bootlicking council would never a tough question or make demands that would upset their union benefactors.

As per usual, this group of “public servants” just wants to do everything in the dark. Maybe some day we’ll get some openness, honesty and transparency in the city of Fullerton. But don’t count on it.

Nothing to See Here